Sunday, October 17, 2004

Discussion on Rhizome about net art, software, updates and responsibility

elsewhere in the discussion they bring up the question of artists who's work is a computer program, selling the computer it was made to run on along with the software in the gallery as part of the work, but i found this bit more interesting about what artist owe to other artists and then there's a discussion of artist's who's work is software, who then send thier collectors 'updates':
But let me bring another issue to the table, one I think other net creatives have brought to light pretty well. It's the issue of TRANSPARENCY.

Artists have always kept notes, some way or another, for their ideas and process. But it is not until they are dead (or made an offer they cannot refuse) that people can take a peek at them. If ever. But not just artist as in Art makers. Most people involved in creative work will keep some kind of record of their discoveries and obstacles. The problem, again, is that these are mostly kept tucked away in private libraries or bedroom drawers.

I believe it is time for net artists to stop pretending anybody beyond their immediate peers understand what they are doing. Seriously. Not even the people in most arts organizations (I'm thinking granting institutions and the like) understand the difference between creating your own metasoftware in Java so you can create software art versus a person who gets their hands on Flash and makes an animation. To this day I find myself saying at art openings, "No, that Levin/Simon/Napier is not an animation. It's software creating the art." To which they most inevitably get the "deer in the headlights" look on their faces. Ugh.

MTAA was interviewed for Petit Mort and it's worth the reading (great pics of the sexy beasts and a fantabulous one of EndNode AKA Printer Tree). This is the part that mostly caught my attention:

Ive notice that your updating of art is similar to the way corporations are updating their services these days; for example banks make you transfer funds, make you fill out forms, make you find customer service, and sometimes even make you responsible for their quality control. Technology now a day has passed on a lot of duties to the customer. It has really become a self-service type of system. And although this would seem like cost cutting measures on the way they do business, we still don't see a decrease in their fees or cost of their products or services. It is helping them save money Im sure, but as consumer we are loosing our time in performing their services. Is that shift what you had in mind when you started these updates?

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